Wednesday, 15 August 2012


So I went to my convocation last night. Fun times. Got all tricked out in a billowing black gown and a lovely hood, trimmed with two bands of hot pink, as if the Faculty of Information Studies (once known as the Faculty of Library and Information Science) wanted to say, "Yes, ours is a profession dominated by women, but this ain't your grandma's library school!" Other faculties got green and grey and yellow and even orange, but we got hot pink. Super.

I'd post a pic but I left the camera at home. However, a photo-proof, snapped as I stood fear-grinning into a camera lens in a corridor in Convocation Hall, clutching my diploma, is in the mail. I'm sure I look as lovely as I did at my undergraduate convocation - i.e. overexposed to the point of looking anemic, my eyes half-closed. Oh, and is it a rule that academic photographers and their assistants have to be complete nitwits? I'm just wondering. Sample comments from the photo crew as the newly graduated shuffled through the corridor:

"Hey, big guy, what's wrong with your gown?"

"Let's get you carrying this diploma like you do it every day."

"Hey, tiger - your hood's on crooked"

"Keep smiling that beautiful smile"

"Hey, halfwit, shut the hell up and get out of my face" (That was me. In my head).

Anyway. So it's done, my formal schooling is over for now. I've got a string of letters after my name and a job and some debt, some grey hair. I sat up some nights writing papers until I started drooling on my keyboard. I ranted plenty. I cried about once a week on average. I laughed a lot. I worked at four different jobs and got loads of experience I wouldn't have had otherwise. I went through about fifteen pairs of shoes. I still have recurring nightmares about writing an exam for a course I've never taken. I grew my hair long. I learned how to do second-level cataloguing. I developed a taste for vodka (these last two are not unrelated). It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

So, like, yeah. OK. Next!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Doesn't look like much

That's what the doctor told me on Monday when I took myself and my red throat to his office. Another culture was taken, another list of blood tests was checked off.

I didn't bother with the tests, and the culture came back negative for strep and whatever else it is they checked it for. Look, I'm busy. I don't have time to be schlepping around to doctor's offices and labs. I certainly don't have time to deal with condescending doctors. I have a career to manage, I have a course to pass, I have a household to run. Groceries need to be purchased, bills need to be paid, meals need to be prepared, dishes need to be scrubbed, clothes need to be washed, floors need to be swept, cats need to be taken care of. I have a database to build and volunteers who need coordinating and a column to write at some point in the future.

So on Tuesday, I went to work, sore throat and all. New clients must have thought I was there on a community-living placement. I sounded like Kramer, on that episode of Seinfeld where he gets to go to the benefit dinner with Mel Torme because Torme thinks he's, uh, "challenged", but really his mouth is full of Novocaine. "Pwease compweat this fowm," I said to a new employee who wanted to borrow some books from the "libwawy". My voicemail message that day was hi-larious: "Hewwo, 'ou have weached Jen'fer Boorns, Infowmation Shpecialist at..."

Wednesday, throat still sore, although less sore. Thursday, less sore. Friday, less sore. Saturday, almost gone...but still sore. Oh, and I stayed late every night - to catch up in my course. Fun fun fun!

No running, swimming or any strenuous exercise, no alcohol, no citrus (it irritates my throat), soft foods, soup...oh, yeah, it's been a swell time. Throw in a couple of snowstorms and a two-hour commute home three days in a row (complete with 20 minute wait in the bitter cold for a bus that's supposed to come every three minutes) - and you may as well just put a lampshade on your head and call it a party.

I need a vacation. From my life.